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City of Lennox approves sale of city water wells

The Lennox City Council approved the sale of the city wells. The decision came after a special meeting Monday night. The discussion has been on-going for some time.

It was at the October 23rd city council meeting that City Administrator Amanda Anglin presented information about the option of keeping the wells versus the sale of the wells to South Lincoln Rural Water System.

She said that DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) told her that if the city does not want to sell the wells and transfer the water rights, then it is possible for the city to maintain the wells in a standby condition and retain the current water rights, but they would be required to comply with Administrative Rule: 74:02:01:37.02.

Anglin also explained that if the city of Lennox decided to keep the wells, Jeremy Gulbranson, Water and Sewer Superintendent, would recommend capping Wells A, B, C and F and keeping Wells D and E operational at an estimated cost of $80,000 for the capping and $60,000 to update D and E for a total of $140,000. This does not include the upgrade costs or any updates to the water treatment plant.

Anglin said those upgrades and repairs would need to be completed next year. The items are not in the budget and would significantly decrease the cash in the water fund, which may hinder the ability to transfer money to the sewer fund for those needed upgrades.

She stated, “Currently, we cannot afford to make these repairs and upgrades.”

Anglin also clarified that the purchase agreement outlined an emergency clause for water.

She said, “If you sell the wells, you will not be giving up that water supply. You will be getting a life-time water reserve without the cost of maintaining the wells.”

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